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Temporary unemployment for economic reasons (Coronavirus)

Reinhardt Haverans
27 March 2020

What does the measure entail

As an entrepreneur, you can apply for temporary unemployment due to lack of work if the existing work regime can temporarily not be upheld because of economic hardship.

Companies affected by a decline in clientele as a result of the coronavirus can apply for this measure for their employees. Their employees will then receive increased NEO-benefits until 30 June 2020.

This procedure will differ whether it pertains to administrative workers and service industry workers or industrial workers.

*The terms ’bediende’ and ‘arbeider’ are the official Dutch-language terms used in legislation. The official statuses of ‘bediende’ and ‘arbeider’ are not fully represented by ‘administrative workers’, ‘service industry workers’ and ‘industrial workers’. Ask your social security office for more information.

Temporary unemployment - lack of work due to economic hardship for industrial workers

What does the measure entail

Companies can request temporary unemployment regulations in case the employees cannot maintain their normal working regime. The measure includes coronavirus as a cause.

Who qualifies

  • Industrial workers on payroll;
  • Pupils in a work-training program;
  • Temporary workers when:
    • the temporary employment is planned to become a steady employment and the rest of the department where the temporary worker is assigned is also considered temporarily unemployed.
    • the temporary worker has been employed for at least 3 months and the rest of the department where the temporary worker is assigned is also considered temporarily unemployed.

Contents of the support measure

Employees can get their NEO-benefits raised to 70% of their average wages, with a maximum of €2,754.76, from which 26.75% corporate tax will be deducted. The increase is in effect until 30 June 2020.

Application procedure

  • The industrial workers must be informed about the prospective unemployment;
  • The industrial council or union representative(s) must be formally informed;
  • An electronic request must precede the first prospective day of unemployment by at least 7 calendar days. Specify ‘coronavirus’ as the economic reason;
  • If the company not yet answers to the preliminary conditions, it can submit a request with the Minister of Employment to be recognised as a struggling company based on unforeseen circumstances causing a decrease in turnover, production or orders in the short term.

More information

The NEO provided more information in Dutch, French and German on the information sheet pertaining to temporary unemployment. Contact your social security office for assistance applying for this measure.

Temporary unemployment - lack of work due to economic hardship for administrative workers and service industry workers

What does the measure entail

Companies can request temporary unemployment regulations in case the employees cannot maintain their normal working regime. The measure includes coronavirus as a cause.

Companies applying for temporary unemployment for administrative workers and service industry workers due to economic reasons that have yet to go through the procedure, can use the benefits connected to temporary unemployment due to force majeure until 30 June 2020.

Who qualifies

  • The employer that answers to the preliminary conditions;
  • The employer that does not answer to the preliminary conditions: a request can be filed with the Minister of Employment to be recognised as a struggling company based on unforeseen circumstances causing a decrease in turnover, production or orders in the short term.

Contents of the support measure

Employees can get their NEO-benefits raised to 70% of their average wages, with a maximum of €2,754.76, from which 26.75% corporate tax will be deducted. The increase is in effect until 30 June 2020.

Application procedure

  • The administrative workers and service industry workers must be informed about their prospective unemployment;
  • The employee council or union representative(s) must be formally informed;
  • An electronic request must precede the first prospective day of unemployment by at least 7 calendar days. Specify ‘suspension administrative workers’ or ‘suspension service industry workers ’ as the economic reason and mention ‘coronavirus’ as a remark;
  • If the company does not answer to the preliminary conditions, a request can be filed with the Minister of Employment to be recognised as a struggling company based on unforeseen circumstances causing a decrease in turnover, production or orders in the short term.

More information

The NEO provided more information in Dutch, French and German on the information sheet pertaining to suspension of administrative workers and service industry workers . Contact your social security office for assistance applying for this measure.

Contact

For more information, contact your social security office or the NEO.

National Employment Office (NEO)

Keizerslaan 7

1000 Brussels

Belgium

T 02 515 41 11

https://www.rva.be/en

 

This text is a literal translation of a Dutch-language text provided by Flanders Innovation & Entrepreneurship. By translating it to English, we aim to help even more entrepreneurs in this time of crisis.

 


 

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